How Bud Light Made $8M in a Moment

When it comes to creating a TV commercial, there’s a lot of moving parts. Ideation, planning, production, editing, testing. There’s a lot of strategy that goes into a brand getting it right — and that takes time.

But how much time? Say for a 30-second spot? Days? Weeks? Months?

How about just a few hours.

Well, that’s exactly what Bud Light managed back in 2019. And the concept didn’t come from weeks of ideation, it came from one cultural moment in time.

And the beloved beer brand was on the ball… fast.

Pain is Temporary, Glory is Forever

It’s the Major League Baseball World Series, 2019.

With a home run ball hurtling towards the outfield, a fan holding a Bud Light in each hand had a tough decision to make; drop the expensive ballpark beer and try the catch or sacrifice your body to preserve the liquid gold.

What ensued was a brand moment for the ages...

The fan held on tight to his beers and took the ball right to the chest. The epic moment captured on-screen.

Capitalizing on a Moment

Even more impressive was how Bud Light would respond to the heroic incident.

Within minutes, the brand tweeted out a call to identify their greatest brand ambassador of all time.
Within the next hour, t-shirts featuring the moment were available for sale.

Within 24 hours, the unidentified fan came forward and agreed to attend the next World Series game wearing the shirt.
The real marketing moment came just 48 hours after the ball hit.

During Game 6, a 15-second ad appeared on TVs across the United States with the tagline: “Not all heroes wear capes...or gloves”.

The moment garnered national attention and the exposure for Anheuser Busch (parent company of Bud Light) was estimated to be worth $8 Million.

So, How Did Bud Light Get it So Right?

Well, it started with recognition. Having your product appear during viral moments happens once in a blue moon, so when it does happen, you need to be alert.

This was followed by the sheer speed of the brand’s response. Had the brand gotten involved a week later, the moment would have passed.

And by using social media to identify their hero, the brand immediately inserted themselves into the conversation.

Finally, by commemorating the moment through merchandise, the digital cultural spectacle was pushed into a physical marvel.

Not all heroes wear capes? Not all brands are Bud Light.

- Brendan